Ironing out a thorny issue

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 04 May 2020

A durian seller describing the quality of the fruit to a buyer at a wet market on the island.

EMBRACING the new way of selling durians online requires good talking and messaging skills.

Eric Yeap, who runs an orchard in Teluk Bahang, Penang, said he spends time explaining to his customers by phone about the different types of durian and their distinct flavours.

“As they are not here to see and learn about the fruits in person, we must ask them what kind of flavours they would like.

“We send them a menu and describe their individual tastes. Those who are familiar with durian know what they want.

“For others, we ask them to tell us if they want their durians sweet, bitter, thick and creamy or extra moist, ” he said.

Yeap said if customers were not satisfied with the durian delivered to them, he would gladly replace them.

“If there are complaints, we will replace them the next day. If they don’t need replacements, then the next time when they place orders we give them a discount.

“The fruits are not cheap. Some can amount to a few hundred ringgit, so we must make sure customers are satisfied, ” he said.

On advice for those buying durians online, Yeap said it was best to know what durian variety you want.

“If you don’t know, describe what type of taste you prefer. Then take the recommendations, ” he said.

Yeap said he started selling durians online on April 12 by advertising in the Durian Delivery Service Directory published in The Star’s Metro North pullout and so far, the reception has been good.

This directory, published from Mondays to Saturdays, helps readers find established durian sellers and even order directly from orchards.

Another durian seller Ooi Kok Keong, 30, said this was his first year selling durians.

“We sell many types of durians and have reduced the prices. What we would have sold at RM35 per kg, we are now selling at RM25 per kg, ” he said.

Lorry driver Mohd Asuwad Suid said he delivered durians all around the island.

“We are based in Jelutong and if the delivery is far, we will charge about RM5, otherwise delivery is free”.

Musang King is around RM45 to RM50 per kg, while kampung durians are cheaper at RM10 to RM15 per kg.

The prices have not gone down much because there is still demand from factories.

“They make it into ice-cream, ” he said.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has allocated 254 stalls in nine wet markets all over the island for durian sellers and farmers to go and sell their durians.

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